Subscribe in a reader

Monday, July 31, 2006

and finally

we have a new addition that came in at 6 lbs. 6 oz at 1:23am July 31st, 2006. Healthy, perfectly plump, pink little baby boy named Matthew Alexander MacDonald delivered at the Ottawa Hospital, Civic Campus. Huge thanks to all who assisted.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Still waiting...

Friday, July 28, 2006

Baby's on its way

Julie is going to be induced this weekend so there's going to be someone else staying over at our place for the next eighteen or so years.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Morley Callaghan addendum

(File under bibliography)
Just picked up another previously unrecorded magazine article by Morley Callaghan, at least to my knowledge.

B215a "Backstage with Canada's War" Coronet [Chicago], July, 1941; VOL. 10, NO. 3; WHOLE NO. 57 Publisher: DAVID A. SMART. Editors: ARNOLD GINGRICH, BERNARD GEIS, pp. 113-116.

...and I can't help quoting Ottawa's John Metcalf, "Surely people don't read Morley Callaghan, do they? For pleasure?"

I laughed out loud when I recently read this wry gem of a Metcalfian observation. (ABCMA Vol 5.) Although I realize that I am probably the only one of a few who actually finds this quote funny, please just ignore my sense of humour.

On the cover of this issue of Coronet is 21 year-old actress Juanita Stark. The magazine also contains an early short story by Frederic Brown, Star-Spangled Night. The editorial note at the end of his story reads "Fredric Brown is a proofreader by profession."

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

simple irony

"There never was a good war, or a bad peace."
- Benjamin Franklin

"To jaw-jaw is always better than to war-war."
-Winston Churchill

"The notion that you just declare a ceasefire and act as if that is going to solve the problem, I think is simplistic."
- John Bolton, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations

"Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Contrary to what you've just seen, war is neither glamorous nor fun. There are no winners, only losers. There are no good wars, with the following exceptions: The American Revolution, World War II, and the Star Wars Trilogy. If you'd like to learn more about war, there's lots of books in your local library, many of them with cool, gory pictures."
- Bart Simpson

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

The Martyrology by jwcurry

Now this should be really interesting. [More to the point, the title of this post should be 'The Martyrology performed by jwcurry', but that's just me trying to be accurate.] Poet slash bookseller slash publisher slash 'beebliographer', jwcurry is taking on the task of a public reading bpNichol's monumental multi-volume work The Martyrology. I just got my letter of invitation in the mail yesterday. This is apparently the '1st in a series of fundraising performances' which will take place at the gazebo next to the parliamentary library on Parliament Hill. The starting time will be around 8pm this Saturday 29 July 2006. As curry says, "bring pillows and niblits" - it's going to be a long night. [The rain date will be Saturday, 5 August.]

Monday, July 24, 2006

speaking of portraits

This morning I had a brilliant visit with poet Monty Reid, Manager (Exhibition Services) of the Canadian Museum of Nature. I was there for a photo shoot at the main office in Aylmer and got a behind the scenes peek at some of the million piece collection of the museum. Wow. I have never seen so many skeletons and jars of tape worms in one place. Simply awesome.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Connolly's Portrait

Thanks to Kevin Connolly's friends and colleagues who suggested that they liked my photo of him so much, he chose my photo to be used for promotional purposes. This candid photo was snapped while he was on stage at the Ottawa International Writers Festival this past spring.

[from The Scream Literay Festival: Kevin Connolly’s most recent collection, drift (Anansi, 2005), won the 2006 Trillium Award for poetry. His previous poetry collections include Happyland (ECW 2002) and Asphalt Cigar (Coach House, 1995), which was nominated for the 1996 Gerald Lampert Award. He was founding editor of the influential 1980s literary magazine What!. Connolly lives in Toronto, where he works as a poet, editor, and arts journalist. ]

Monday, July 17, 2006

Leslie's Secret Heart

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Bywords Summer Reading

Time and Place: July 16 at 2:00 pm. Chapters, 47 Rideau Street
Poets from the summer and the summer Bywords Quarterly Journal plus the music of guitarist and singer Scott Edmonds

The Summer 2006 edition (Volume 4 Number 2) cover features a photograph of a heron I took last summer on Dow's Lake. Thanks Amanada & Charles! BTW, you can purchase your copy online at or in one of the better Ottawa bookstores near you.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Not Fast Enough

Last week I got 'sniped' by ByWords photoblogger Charles Earl on Canada Day. Yes, I now know how it feels. And earlier this week, at the Tree Reading Series, I was soooo slow I actually got candidly sketched by David Scrimshaw. I don't know why the slice of watermelon is growing out of my head, but I suspect it's just a Alexander Keith's beer poster on the wall. At least I hope it is. My ear is very well done and so is my jaw line. Thanks David.

Speaking of being sniped, there was an Israeli artist / visitor, 'Omar', making the rounds in my neibourhood going door to door selling paintings. Not just 8x10s but really large 3 x 4 feet canvases which were also matted by the way. It was a balmy 32 degrees out, too. Must have been a tad warm for him as he lugged all those 40 or so paintings. He asked $150 to $200 a piece, too. Most were landscapes in a "Bob Ross" churned-out style, but my mom always warned me about buying bobrossian-art from strangers. Besides, I don't happen to carry that amount of money around so I was caught off guard. While looking through his large portfolio of work, he admitted that he was previously a sniper in the Israeli army. This kind of unsettled me. But that part of his life was over and he now travels the world painting (so he says). Needless to say, I politely declined to make a purchase...very politely.

Friday, July 14, 2006

David Hasselhoff - Hooked on a Feeling

Thursday, July 13, 2006

I thought I would miss Bluesfest...

...since I have not been going. So, I guess that may have something to do with it. BUT, I just stumbled upon James R. Skinner's music events page on Holy smokes! Seems he's got every Ottawa musical event covered. He shoots videos like I shoot photos. No need to go out in person anymore... especially when you can just sit at home and play endless hours of audio/video footage of: WestFEST, Bluesfest, Tulipfest, snowbowl, Winterlude, and the list goes on - even goes back a few years, too. Okay, maybe not hours. His clips last anywhere from 30 seconds to 2 minutes in length. It's just that there are thirteen pages of videos to get through. Wow.

Can't wait to see if he'll get some footage of Kathleen Edwards. UPDATE: Yes he did.

Pssst! hey, Amanda, there are several clips of Ron Sexsmith live in concert you might enjoy watching. Emm Gryner is in the list, by the way. Brilliant job, James.

Don't forget to check out his "Downsized Privatized Mounties at Tulipfest 2005". A classic masterwork of video production. Two thumbs way up.

Speaking of Tree Reading Series...

Just got news (thanks rob) that 2006 Far Horizons Award went to the director of Ottawa's Tree Reading Series, Rhonda Douglas. Rhonda won the award for her poem "Non-Exclusive List." The Far Horizons Award celebrates the achievement of emerging writers who have yet to publish their poetry in book form.

Douglas’s poem will be published in the Malahat’s Fall 2006 issue, due out in late September. Final Judge George Bowering chose her poem from over 450 entries submitted by 166 poets.

Congratulations, Rhonda! (Now get the series out of the hot basement.) hahaha!

free books

Took a tour the other day with Stephen to Richard Fitzpatrick's former bookstore on Spadina in Ottawa and saw some books piled against the wall outside. They were free! Also, the building's owner also had some books still for sale inside the gutted store for a measly .50 cents a piece. Some finds but nothing really to go on about here at length. Go before it rains to rummage through the musty boxes before all the pros find all the good first editions. Fun! Fun!

Hot Ottawa Voices

But seriously, it was an appropriate heat-related metaphor. I like the Tree Reading Series, I heartily support it, but how much longer will we have to suffer the stifling tudor-basement heat, the brown water dripping from the stained ceiling in buckets on the sticky benches and floor? I vote for another venue free from the noise of bar stools upstairs so the voices can be heard. The sweltering humidity loses it's poetic charm real fast. Maybe it's just fussy old me. The evening's readers and open mike session was pleasing to listen to in any case. Good to see such a large turn out despite the other musical events which are happening in the city at the moment.

Assistant director, Dean Steadman also announced to the evening's crowded basement bar that the recent Governor General Literary Award winning poet, Anne Compton would not be able to commit to her scheduled appearance August 22nd due to a "lack of funding from a Canada Council grant", but an alternate reader will be selected. In November 2005 poet, critic, and anthologist Anne Compton won the Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry with her book Processional. Up next on July 27th – A Midsummer Night’s Tree (all open-mike night). Come out and perform your best Max Middle sound poem. The newly-designed website features some of my photos of past readers at Tree. Yeah! A new website!

Gwendolyn Guth

Jesse Ferguson, Nicholas Lea (right) is hot "like Gitanes after mouth surgery".

Robyn Jeffrey

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Saving Fish

Last Sunday, Steve and his two children rescued fish trapped in shallow rock pools at Hogs Back Falls the day after Canada day. Clearly his daughter was a tad squeamish. Cute.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Hope Volleyball Summerfest 2006

Lots of beach volleyball action today at beautiful Mooney's Bay on Ottawa's Rideau River. Spectacular day for charity fundraising and, umm, photography. Headlining bands included Sloan and The Trews.

I miss Amanda Congdon already

SF Prize

(from RJS' press release)
Robert J. Sawyer has just won the world's top juried award for science fiction: the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for Best Novel of the Year.

The award, which Sawyer won for his latest novel, MINDSCAN, was presented Friday night, July 7, 2006, at a banquet at the J. Wayne and Elsie M. Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction at the University of Kansas.

With this award win -- his 38th for his fiction -- Robert J. Sawyer now joins the most-select club in all of science fiction, the seven writers who have won all three of the field's top awards for best novel of the year.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Monty Reid Reads Well

Monty Reid poses with his Sweetheart of Mine, a fine Book Thug publication.

Montreal poet Stephanie Bolster also read (very well) from her books of poetry new and old at this evening's Factory Reading Series.

Separated at birth?
[Dorothy Wilding portrait of QEII inset]

CanLit Ephemera This Week on eBay

According to Canadian ex-pat author turned Connecticut eBay huckster of Egyptian Musk Oil, Charlotte Vale Allen recently auctioned off a piece of relatively uncommon Canadian literature-related ephemera. The item is a poster that dates from 29 September 1982 and it is a veritable who's who of Can Lit. I was interested in bidding for the Callaghan sig and others, but the price was too steep for me. Vale Allen's item description reads, Toronto an unprecedented event was held: 100 authors gathered and were
"purchased" (by hosts and their guests with whom the authors dined) in order to
raise money for the Writers' Development Trust of Canada. In advance of this
momentous event, all of us attending authors went down to the Writers'
Development Trust office and autographed (my signature is in the upper left-hand
corner) a limited run of posters. I can't remember precisely but I know that
only a couple of hundred posters were printed and signed. Quite a number of the
authors are no longer among us. That fact alone, coupled with the incredible
unlikelihood of such a diverse group all in attendance in one place at the same
time, makes this limited-edition poster exceedingly rare. Somewhere there exists
a complete list of all the authors but I've only been able to identify 80 of the
The 28"x 22" poster, with a starting bid of $100 (USD), eventually sold for $260 (USD) after seven bids. Too bad, it would have looked nice on my wall.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

photo review

Went to fhole weblog to check out my regular dose of visual / text poetry and I see that dfb points to a link where he describes what he saw as a "tasty little visual poetry movie from ghuth" [Geof Huth of Schenectady, NY]. Watched it and was impressed by its starkness and lyrical quality. While I was there, I perused Huth's site and found that he also reviewed FHOLE #7 -#8. Therein he makes some pretty nice comments about my photos of jwcurry and revealing comments about the fhole zine in general. Thought you should know.

Stephanie Bolster & Monty Reid

July 6 at 7:00 pm. The Ottawa Art Gallery [the Arts Court Building, 2 Daly Ave]
The Factory Reading Series is hosted by rob mclennan

Monday, July 03, 2006

Oni Warhol

If you wanted to purchase any one of the photograhic prints from the series Oni Warhol, I could quote you a price. Any size, from 4"x6" to 24"x36", is available to order. Just send me an email.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Got some more photos from today's Canada Day 2006 events on the Hill and also from the fantastic parking lot party on Albert and Elgin Streets. Hope you don't mind if I post some here. The 'whoops' title of this post has, of course, more than one meaning. I...uh...unwittingly got a wardrobe malfunction photo series in action, and also the fact that I missed photographing Michel Pagliaro tonight. What would you rather see? Anyhow, most of the photos will appear in my Canada Day gallery.

The parking lot party was just so awesome I couldn't leave to get back to Pariliament Hill. The good time had today reinforces the fact that if the Dusty Owl Reading Series gang is somehow involved in organizing an event like the party in the parking lot, it's a sure thing. Trust me on this. I did, however, make my exit around 8:45pm after a little rain started to come down and decided to beat the traffic which was bound to be heavy. Made a pit stop at the Golden Turtle on Booth for some #3s take out (yum) and decided to watch the fireworks on tv.

You just got to have your cutie shot if you're taking photos on Canada Day. So here is my entry in this category.

Although this freakish photo looks like one person, the massager (Bode Spa) is at the customer's head.

Canada Day 2006

Photos from The Hill in Ottawa.

Governor General Jean and famille. She was reaching out, but I was too far away I guess ;-) Wishing I had a cool plaid jacket like the dude in the background - then, and only then, I could truly call myself Scottish.

Snowbirds fly by at 12:30 on the dot. Lucky for Ottawa Citizen photographer, Jana Chytilova and I, the Snowbirds ground commander was just behind us giving the exact time and location of the fly past so that we could aim and shoot. Yes, they came as fast as they went.